Newsom Backs SCOTUS Bid to Untie Hands on Homelessness Crackdown!

The U.S. Supreme Court is getting ready to dive into a huge challenge that’s got both Republican and Democratic leaders teaming up like unlikely buddies in a buddy cop movie. And the star of the show is none other than California Gov. Gavin Newsom. That’s right, the man himself has thrown his support behind a push to get the Supreme Court to take another look at a rule that’s been tying the hands of state and local governments when it comes to dealing with the big issue of homelessness.

The rule in question, from a 2018 Ninth Circuit Court ruling in Martin v. Boise, says that cities can’t enforce anti-camping laws if there aren’t enough shelter beds available for their local homeless populations. This has led to some cities passing more limited ordinances, trying to find the sweet spot that’s allowed while still respecting the ruling.

One city playing this anti-camping ordinance game is Grants Pass, Oregon, which banned homeless folks from using bedding, sleeping bags, or other sleeping gear, or setting up structures, while still letting them snooze in city parks. But of course, the Ninth Circuit wasn’t having any of that and shot down the ordinance, saying homeless people could sleep in the parks, but only without the stuff they actually need for outdoor slumber parties.

And there’s the case of Los Angeles, home to the big time LA Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). According to some stats from back in 2017, the shelters run by LAHSA were only at about 78% capacity on average, way below the 90% mark required by their contracts. With 16,623 shelter beds and a whopping 40,082 unsheltered homeless individuals in the county, it’s clear there just aren’t enough beds to go around.

But if the Supreme Court flips this ruling, and it’s looking like that could happen, then cities across the Ninth Circuit could crack down harder on camping and push more homeless folks into shelters or treatment centers. So, get ready for a showdown, because this is a big deal in America’s fight against homelessness. And it’s got more drama than an episode of a reality TV show!

Written by Staff Reports

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